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GMT Watches


A GMT watch allows you to track up to several time zones at once. Most GMT watches can track up to three time zones, some even more. The GMT complication makes it a watch of great utility due to its versatile functionality. Apart from being able to tell time as any other watch, the GMT watch can be used to keep track of several time zones, both at home and abroad, while also doubling as a compass. When choosing a GMT watch, it is important to look for designs with good visibility, so you can easily distinguish regular hands and markers from the GMT hand. 


The history of the GMT complication dates back to the 1940s and 50s. The GMT watch was first intended for pilots flying across time zones in a matter of hours, as it kept track of both the local time and the time in the place from where they departed. It was first and foremost a utility, a tool which the pilots could rely on to remember loved ones at home in the midst of traveling the world. As the world became much more interconnected, and flights became longer, the GMT watch experienced a growing demand.  Today GMT watches are still cherished due to their functionality and design features, making it one of the most popular watch models available. At About Vintage we offer several two-toned and one-toned GMT watches. 


Maybe you’re wondering what GMT means? GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time;  a concept which originates from the International Meridian Conference back in 1884. Here, they divided the world into 24 circumferential time zones (24 hours = 24 time zones) with ground-zero meridian in Greenwich, London. With this benchmark, the growing need to keep track of several time zones as the world embraced its interconnectedness, resulted in the creation of the first GMT watch in 1953. 


The bezel of a GMT has a total of 24 markers which reference 24 hour GMT time with ground-zero meridian in Greenwich, London. Make sure the bezel is in its standard position by aligning its 24H with 12H on the dial. Set the watch to your current local time by pulling the crown to 2nd position. Hereafter, pull the crown to 1st position and turn clockwise to adjust the GMT hand to home time (the place from where you will depart) until it matches with the 24-hour bezel. If your current time is 11.00am, you simply turn the GMT hand until it reaches 11 on the bezel. 

Now, if you land in a timezone an hour ahead and wish to adjust your watch to your current timezone, pull out the crown to 2nd position and set the time one hour ahead using the hour and minute hand. Now, you know your current time (showcased by hour and minute hand) as well as the time in the place from which you departed (showcased by the GMT hand). 

If you wish to set a third timezone, you rotate the bezel. Find out how many hours your third timezone is either ahead or behind your home time (showcased by the GMT hand). If your desired timezone is six hours ahead, you rotate the bezel six clicks (six hours). Now, using the pre-set GMT hand, you will see the third timezone on the bezel.